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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Nanomaterial for GPS Clocks Most Expensive in the World at $150 Million per Gram
reported by the Independent
scientists are creating the
world's most expensive material
- endohedral fullerenes, spherical carbon molecules containing nitrogen atoms, which sell for £100 million ($150 million) a gram.
The tiny structures are being manufactured by
Carbon Materials, a company which was born out of the university last year.
The incredibly valuable material is being used
in atomic clocks
, to make the timekeeping
even more accurate than ever before.
into a GPS device
, the tiny clocks could detect the device's position to an accuracy of one millimeter, compared to the current standard of around one to five meters.
That accuracy would be practically unnoticeable if you were navigating a city
with Google Maps
, but it's vital in
driverless car technology
, where the difference between meters and millimeters is hugely important
to avoid collisions
, Dr Kyriakos Porfyrakis, founder of the company and nano-materials expert, said: "Imagine a miniaturized atomic clock that you could carry around in your smartphone."
"This is the next revolution for mobile."
Most current atomic clocks are large, in some cases, cabinet-sized devices. Using the endeohedral fullerene technology, they
could be shrunk to the size of a microchip
Because of the enormous price, the material changes hands in tiny quantities.
The company recently made their first sale of only 200 micro-grams - about one-fifteenth the weight of a snowflake, or one-third the weight of a single human hair - for £22,000 ($33,000).
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